It’s important to look at how well you’re placed at surviving the onslaught of those nasty bugs prevalent at this time of year. If you are one of the many that seems to catch everything ‘going around’; it could be time to make sure your diet is not leaving you vulnerable.
- GO FOR COLOR IN FRUIT AND VEGETABLES
Make sure the majority of your diet is filled with plenty of seasonal fruits and vegetables which are rich sources of powerful antioxidants that help to protect the body’s cells against damage and infection.
Pumpkin, sweet potato, broccoli, oranges, red peppers and beets are all great sources of nutrition and can either be juiced, thrown into stir-fries, or baked and served with warming casseroles and soup, perfect for some winter warmth!
- KEEP THAT FLUID INTAKE WAY UP
If you find that you are drinking much less water in winter, switch to green tea, which is packed with antioxidants and has also been shown to increase metabolic rate if three or more cups are consumed every day.
- DON’T FORGET VITAMIN D!
Sometimes called the sunshine vitamin, it has been shown to help support the immune system. In winter it’s a fair bet Canadians are not getting any vitamin D from exposure to the sun. In this case, food can become the most important source of vitamin D. Oily fish like salmon, mackerel and sardines are good sources of vitamin D, and there are also vitamin D fortified milks and yogurt available.
- OLIVE LEAF EXTRACT – NEW STUDIES CONFIRM ITS POTENCY
Olive leaves have been traditionally used to enhance functioning of the immune system and aid the management of viral infections, especially when fever is present. These traditional practices appear to be supported by recent laboratory studies in which oleuropein (widely regarded as one the most important constituents of olive leaves) have been shown to be effective against a number of disease-causing microbes, including viruses that cause influenza and similar respiratory infections.
- ASTRAGALUS – A VERSATILE IMMUNE STAR
Aside from an old favorite Echinacea, there are several other effective herbal immune boosters that are not as well known. Astragalus membranaceus is one of the most important herbs in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Its 3,000 year history is almost as long as its list of proven positive health attributes! As well as an immune system booster, these include potent anti-inflammatory and antioxidant action, cardio-vascular protection, lowers cortisol (the body’s stress hormone) and, unlike Echinacea, it’s appropriate for everyday use.